Statement by SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall and Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson

August 8, 2018

"We at The State University of New York are deeply saddened over the passing of Dr. Joseph Burke, a dedicated advocate of higher education and learning for the SUNY System. Dr. Burke served as acting system provost in 1985, system provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs from 1986-55, and interim chancellor in 1994. He was also a senior fellow with the Rockefeller Institute’s Higher Education Program and president of SUNY Plattsburgh for over a decade.

Dr. Burke was one of SUNY’s greatest resources, and was always willing and able to provide his expertise and insight when needed. He brought his wealth of knowledge, experience, leadership, and wisdom to every position he held, leaving behind a legacy of accomplishments in crucial areas, such as graduate and doctoral research, as well as system-wide assessment and performance programs.

He was a champion of higher education and we mourn the loss of a dear member of our SUNY family."

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications